PopMatters is moving to WordPress. We will publish a few essays daily while we develop the new site. We hope the beta will be up sometime late next week.

Good Lovelies: Let the Rain Fall

Good Lovelies' second full-length album of original material is a warm welcoming home, like a freshly baked apple pie sitting out on the window sill.

Good Lovelies

Let the Rain Fall

Label: Six Shooter
US Release Date: 2011-03-01
UK Release Date: 2011-03-01
Artist Website

The Good Lovelies began their auspicious career with a tiny 5-track EP called Oh My. The girls’ rapidly growing following clamored for more shortly after the release of this stunning little EP. Their divine self-titled full-length debut was released near the end of January in 2009 and re-released internationally in the summer of 2010. Good Lovelies is a magnificent debut showcasing each performer’s wonderful talent and songwriting abilities. Kerri Ough contributed the upbeat Tin Pan Alley tracks reminiscent of '50s AM radio gospel tunes. Sue Passmore soothed with her deep soulful voice, not long for the jazzier tunes. And Caroline Brooks incorporated her sweet harmonics over her distinct pop/folk sensibilities. The trio are perfectly matched, and their Juno Award-winning debut proved this.

In between their debut and Let the Rain Fall, the Lovelies released a Christmas-themed record entitled Under the Mistletoe, a novelty album that helped to establish the trio as a musical staple. Let the Rain Fall is the Good Lovelies' official second full-length album featuring predominantly original music. Given their unfaltering beginnings, I was curious (and very excited) to hear which direction the Lovelies would be headed in now. Album opener “Made for Rain” establishes the thematic concept of the record and re-introduces the listener to the genre style the girls are famous for. There’s nothing spectacularly new with the first two tracks -- “Made for Rain” and “Free” -- but this is not an immediately bad thing.

The album quickly shifts into a lower gear and slows down with two album highlights “Old Highway” and “Best I Know”. Since their inception, the Good Lovelies have been touring relentlessly, never allowing their fanbase to forget that they are there for a second. The consequences of this unrelenting touring are evidenced in almost every track on Let the Rain Fall, introduced with “Old Highway”, where Caroline sings “The more you see / The more you know / Days move slow / But the loneliness will leave you / I love it that way / Far as I can see any time of day / My heart’s on the old highway." The brave face the girls donned with the opening tracks is slowly fading here, and the yearning lovelorn begins to seep through. Their experiences of being tightly connected to each other and stripped of the life they often leave behind has taken its toll -- it makes for some great songwriting. “Best I Know” is beautifully orchestrated and remarkably touching when Kerri sings, softly and simply: “And if I stay up late, would you keep me company?” It’s a simple and touching request, sung against the fragility of her timid guitar strumming.

As the rest of the album plays out, the Good Lovelies grapple with the dissonance between their love of music and their familial life, trying to successfully merge the two. What is glaringly obvious with Let the Rain Fall is the tighter focus and almost complete homogenization of the girls’ once varied songwriting styles. With a shorter recording schedule than their debut (two weeks total), the girls needed to be more organized. Although there are some slight distinctions between songs, much of the record is tighter in its execution, which has both positive and negative outcomes. The positive is the girls coming into their own as a cohesive unit, without any palpable distinction between a Kerri-led, Sue-led, or Caroline-led song. They are unifying as Good Lovelies through and through. However, what the girls were celebrated for on their debut album (an album largely written from their individual experiences, as opposed to the shared common ground of this sophomore release) was the characteristic distinctions between each performer, and how they complemented one another perfectly. They were recognizable beyond their Good Lovelies moniker, like any great girl group is. The melding of forms and styles could result in the Good Lovelies becoming interchangeable and thus less charismatic as individual pieces that collectively create a whole better than the sum of its parts. This is not to say that there aren't some distinguishing characteristics between each Good Lovely’s songs (especially those led by Caroline Brooks), but that they are much less pronounced than on their debut, or even their Christmas album Under the Mistletoe.

Let the Rain Fall still stands as a solid effort, even if there are fewer surprises then on the debut. The not-to-be-missed highlights include the above mentioned “Old Highway” and “Best I Know”, as well as the magnificently jazzy Passmore-led “Lonesome Hearts”, and Brooks’s wonderful bilingual album closer “Mrs. T”. The album is distinctively Canadian, lyrically and melodically, and there is no mistaking where their hearts lie. The one misstep on the album is the misplaced quirky cover of K-OS’s “Crabbuckit”. The attempt was sincere and well-intentioned, and singularly stands as a solid track that would have been better suited as a live favourite or a b-side. On Let the Rain Fall, “Crabbuckit” is very much out of place and sticks out like a sore thumb, even though it highlights, quite nicely, the Good Lovelies' beautiful harmonies.

With two full-length original albums into their careers, the Good Lovelies are near the beginning of their worldwide domination. They seem to be at a career-making crossroads: do they continue to envelop themselves in the local Toronto-folk music scene, or do they branch out into various musical landscapes, sampling from styles and genres that go beyond their immediate comfort zones, much in the way they attempted with “Crabbuckit”. One thing is certain, whichever direction the Good Lovelies decide to embark upon, I will be avidly listening from my permanent spot in the front row.


Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology and hosting provider that we have less than a month, until November 6, to move PopMatters off their service or we will be shut down. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to save the site.





Laura Veirs Talks to Herself on 'My Echo'

The thematic connections between these 10 Laura Veirs songs and our current situation are somewhat coincidental, or maybe just the result of kismet or karmic or something in the zeitgeist.


15 Classic Horror Films That Just Won't Die

Those lucky enough to be warped by these 15 classic horror films, now available on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection and Kino Lorber, never got over them.


Sixteen Years Later Wayne Payne Follows Up His Debut

Waylon Payne details a journey from addiction to redemption on Blue Eyes, The Harlot, The Queer, The Pusher & Me, his first album since his 2004 debut.


Every Song on the Phoenix Foundation's 'Friend Ship' Is a Stand-Out

Friend Ship is the Phoenix Foundation's most personal work and also their most engaging since their 2010 classic, Buffalo.


Kevin Morby Gets Back to Basics on 'Sundowner'

On Sundowner, Kevin Morby sings of valleys, broken stars, pale nights, and the midwestern American sun. Most of the time, he's alone with his guitar and a haunting mellotron.


Lydia Loveless Creates Her Most Personal Album with 'Daughter'

Given the turmoil of the era, you might expect Lydia Loveless to lean into the anger, amplifying the electric guitar side of her cowpunk. Instead, she created a personal record with a full range of moods, still full of her typical wit.


Flowers for Hermes: An Interview with Performing Activist André De Shields

From creating the title role in The Wiz to winning an Emmy for Ain't Misbehavin', André De Shields reflects on his roles in more than four decades of iconic musicals, including the GRAMMY and Tony Award-winning Hadestown.


The 13 Greatest Horror Directors of All Time

In honor of Halloween, here are 13 fascinating fright mavens who've made scary movies that much more meaningful.


British Jazz and Soul Artists Interpret the Classics on '​Blue Note Re:imagined'

Blue Note Re:imagined provides an entrance for new audiences to hear what's going on in British jazz today as well as to go back to the past and enjoy old glories.


Bill Murray and Rashida Jones Add Another Shot to 'On the Rocks'

Sofia Coppola's domestic malaise comedy On the Rocks doesn't drown in its sorrows -- it simply pours another round, to which we raise our glass.


​Patrick Cowley Remade Funk and Disco on 'Some Funkettes'

Patrick Cowley's Some Funkettes sports instrumental renditions from between 1975-1977 of songs previously made popular by Donna Summer, Herbie Hancock, the Temptations, and others.


The Top 10 Definitive Breakup Albums

When you feel bombarded with overpriced consumerism disguised as love, here are ten albums that look at love's hangover.


Dustin Laurenzi's Natural Language Digs Deep Into the Jazz Quartet Format with 'A Time and a Place'

Restless tenor saxophonist Dustin Laurenzi runs his four-piece combo through some thrilling jazz excursions on a fascinating new album, A Time and a Place.


How 'Watchmen' and 'The Boys' Deconstruct American Fascism

Superhero media has a history of critiquing the dark side of power, hero worship, and vigilantism, but none have done so as radically as Watchmen and The Boys.


Floodlights' 'From a View' Is Classicist Antipodal Indie Guitar Pop

Aussie indie rockers, Floodlights' debut From a View is a very cleanly, crisply-produced and mixed collection of shambolic, do-it-yourself indie guitar music.


CF Watkins Embraces a Cool, Sophisticated Twang on 'Babygirl'

CF Watkins has pulled off the unique trick of creating an album that is imbued with the warmth of the American South as well as the urban sophistication of New York.


Helena Deland Suggests Imagination Is More Rewarding Than Reality on 'Something New'

Canadian singer-songwriter Helena Deland's first full-length release Someone New reveals her considerable creative talents.


While the Sun Shines: An Interview with Composer Joe Wong

Joe Wong, the composer behind Netflix's Russian Doll and Master of None, articulates personal grief and grappling with artistic fulfillment into a sweeping debut album.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.